Psalm 138

Of David.

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
    before the “gods”(A) I will sing(B) your praise.
I will bow down toward your holy temple(C)
    and will praise your name(D)
    for your unfailing love and your faithfulness,(E)
for you have so exalted your solemn decree
    that it surpasses your fame.(F)
When I called,(G) you answered me;(H)
    you greatly emboldened(I) me.

May all the kings of the earth(J) praise you, Lord,
    when they hear what you have decreed.
May they sing(K) of the ways of the Lord,
    for the glory of the Lord(L) is great.

Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly;(M)
    though lofty, he sees them(N) from afar.
Though I walk(O) in the midst of trouble,
    you preserve my life.(P)
You stretch out your hand(Q) against the anger of my foes;(R)
    with your right hand(S) you save me.(T)
The Lord will vindicate(U) me;
    your love, Lord, endures forever(V)
    do not abandon(W) the works of your hands.(X)

Mordecai Persuades Esther to Help

When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes,(A) put on sackcloth and ashes,(B) and went out into the city, wailing(C) loudly and bitterly. But he went only as far as the king’s gate,(D) because no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed to enter it. In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes.

When Esther’s eunuchs and female attendants came and told her about Mordecai, she was in great distress. She sent clothes for him to put on instead of his sackcloth, but he would not accept them. Then Esther summoned Hathak, one of the king’s eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why.

So Hathak went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate. Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews.(E) He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.

Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. 10 Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, 11 “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned(F) the king has but one law:(G) that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter(H) to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”

12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent(I) at this time, relief(J) and deliverance(K) for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”(L)

15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast(M) for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”(N)

17 So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.

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Jesus Calms the Storm(A)(B)

22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master,(C) we’re going to drown!”

He got up and rebuked(D) the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.(E) 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.

In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

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